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Adobe Inc.
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At a Glance


Innovative software company that creates excellent products

Commitment to diversity, environmentalism and corporate ethics


High turnover, especially after acquisitions

Can be difficult to get recognition or earn promotions

The Bottom Line

Adobe is a creative software company that has ridden the wave of digital media over the last several decades. It's growing, evolving and always in the process of creating the next new thing.

About Adobe Inc.

Adobe Systems makes software that helps customers create, distribute, and manage digital content from the cloud. One of the top publishing software providers, it has been known for brands such as Acrobat, Photoshop, and Marketing Cloud. Adobe serves customers such as content creators and web application developers with its digital media products, and marketers, advertisers, publishers, and others with its digital marketing business. A long-time publisher of traditional software packages, Adobe is moving its products to cloud-based versions. Subscriptions account for about 90% of revenue.


Adobe's business is organized into three reportable segments: Digital Media, Digital Experience and Publishing.

Adobe's Digital Media segment, about 70% of revenue, includes products such as Photoshop and Illustrator under the umbrella of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription service.

Its Digital Experience segment, about 30% of revenue, includes tools for creating, managing, and measuring digital advertising and marketing initiatives. Elements within the segment are Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Magento Commerce Cloud.

The Publishing unit, less than 5% of revenue, includes legacy products and services that address diverse market opportunities including eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web conferencing, document and forms platform, web application development and high-end printing.

Geographic Reach

The US is Adobe's largest market, representing more than 50% of revenue; other North American countries contribute about 5%. The EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region generates more than 25% of revenue and the Asia-Pacific region, led by Japan, contributes about 15%.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Adobe has field offices in about 30 countries across the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Sales and Marketing

Adobe sells directly and through distributors, resellers, systems integrators, and retailers. In addition, it licenses its technology to hardware manufacturers for integration into their products.

Financial Performance

Adobe Systems' revenue more than doubled from 2015-2019, propelled by its digital offerings and higher sales through subscriptions.

Revenue rose 24% to $11 billion in 2019 (ended September), an increase of $2.1 billion from than 2018. Sales from Creative revenue grew 21% while subscription revenue jumped 26% year-to-year. Their success in driving growth in Annualized Recurring Revenue has positively affected their revenue growth.

Net income was no slouch for Adobe in 2019, increasing more than 14% to about $3 billion in 2019 from 2018, due to increase in revenue and offset in part by the increase in operating expense and cost of revenue.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $2.7 billion at the end of 2019 compared to $1.6 billion at the close of 2018. Operations generated about $4.4 billion in cash in 2019 while investing activities used $455 million and financing activities used $2.9 billion.

Adobe's indebtedness rose to $4.14 billion in 2019 from $4.129 billion in 2018, doubling its debt-to-equity ratio. A higher level of debt could affect it how the responds to changing economic conditions and reduce cash flow for other expenses.


Adobe Systems' charge into the cloud and a subscription-based business model has paid off for the company. It has reported rising revenue and net income for the past five years and driven its profit margin to about 28% in 2018 from about 7% in 2014.

The company's goal is to be the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for delivering digital experiences and enabling digital transformation. The Adobe Experience Cloud applications, services and platform are designed to manage customer journeys, enable shoppable experiences and deliver intelligence for business of any size in any industry.

A key component of Adobe's strategy is developing a large partner ecosystem to expand reach and breadth of Adobe solutions in the global marketplace. In order to assist partners in building their respective digital practices, Adobe Global Services provides a comprehensive set of deliverables through Adobe's Solution Partner Program.

Adobe's strategy with Creative Cloud is designed to enable them to increase their revenue with users, attract more new customers, and grow their recurring and predictable revenue stream that is recognized ratably.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019 Adobe Systems bought Allegorithmic, the maker of Substance, a tool for creating 3D textures and materials in game and video post-production. Adobe intends to combine Allegorithmic's Substance 3D design tools with Creative Cloud's imaging, video, and motion graphics tools for video game creators, visual effects artists in film and television, designers, and marketers. The acquisition price accounts for approximate $106.2 million.


Company Background

When Charles Geschke hired John Warnock as chief scientist for Xerox's new graphics and imaging lab, he set the stage for one of the world's largest software makers. While at the Xerox lab, the pair developed the PostScript computer language, which tells printers how to reproduce digitized images on paper. When Xerox refused to market it, the duo left that company and started Adobe (named after a creek near their homes in San Jose, California) in 1982.

Adobe Inc.

345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Phone: 1 (408) 536-6000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: ADBE
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
EVP and CFO: Mark S. Garrett
Chairman, President and CEO: Shantanu Narayen
EVP Worldwide Field Operations: Matthew A. Thompson
Employees (This Location): 600
Employees (All Locations): 22,634

Major Office Locations

San Jose, CA

Other Locations

San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Coral Gables, FL
Newton, MA
Annapolis, MD
Arden Hills, MN
New York, NY
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Lehi, UT
Mc Lean, VA
Seattle, WA
Bengaluru, India
Mumbai, India
New Delhi, India
Noida, India
Etobicoke, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Oslo, Norway
Singapore, Singapore